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Coatings applied to the surface of magnesium parts can slow the rate of corrosion and maintain structural integrity and appearance. Over the years, the most widely used coatings for magnesium alloys have contained hexavalent chromium, also known as hex chrome or chromate. A chromate coating has the special ability to “self-heal,” i.e., repair itself if scratched or damaged, thereby providing active corrosion protection of the underlying metal. In recent years, however, the use of chromate has been drastically curtailed because of its carcinogenic nature and harm to the environment.